A Customer Experience Roadmap to Roll Out a Wildly Successful and Highly Profitable CX Program


  • The Customer Experience (CX) is the customers perception of the brand based on the totality of interactions. That's essential because achieving customer affinity is one of only four sustainable competitive advantages.
  • Customer Experience Management (CXM) is the business strategy to deliver CXs that go beyond basic satisfaction and achieve more emotional goals, that make consumers feel delighted, appreciated, valued, engaged or rewarded, and make those experiences memorable.
  • A customer experience roadmap engineers the customer and business outcomes to maximize revenues. A proven framework will design, define, de-risk and maximize the likelihood you delight customers and at the same time achieve revenue and profit growth.
Johnny Grow Revenue Growth Consulting

How to Design, Deploy and Profit from Differentiated CXs

According to Gartner, 50 percent of large organizations have failed to unify customer engagement in large part because of a disjointed and siloed company approach.

Pursuing CX objectives in a piecemeal approach, where strategy, process, technology and staff empowerment are departmental or separate projects will result in fragmented execution, temporary results and poor ROI. That's why we take a different approach.

The Johnny Grow Customer Experience Roadmap is a holistic and prescriptive method that helps companies achieve organic, self-funded and sustainable growth by focusing on 5 synergistic building blocks.

  1. A CX strategy. CX-led business transformation starts with strategy. The strategy identifies the most direct route to transform the businesses in a systematic and predictable way. Strategy is the precursor to execution.
  2. Value Creation. An operational framework is needed to bridge strategy and execution. Execution starts by identifying the CXs that create the most value. That means the CXs that most impact customer affinity and company profitability.
  3. Experience Engineering. Once we know the most influential CXs, we can design superior interactions across touchpoints and channels. Experience engineering dovetails with business process design and customer journey maps.
  4. Technology Automation. CX software applications bring process automation, information reporting and scale.
  5. Knowledge Transfer. Culture and staff training are the last mile in the journey to deliver CXs that achieve customer and company objectives.
Customer Experience Roadmap
Customer Experience Roadmap

Start with Strategy

Corporate self-platitudes such as "we put the customer first" are meaningless if not backed by action and demonstrated with results. They may be well intentioned but without clear direction, accountable resources and defined outcomes, they are vague proclamations that lead to unclear interpretation and CXs that are only periodically effective, inefficient, immeasurable and not scalable.

A Customer Experience business strategy is needed to advance from intent to outcomes. Strategy calculates how superior CXs create measurable company value, direct investments to achieve that value and define the roadmap to self-fund the transformation. Strategy is what separates temporary and ineffective investments with successful and sustainable programs.


Mutual Value Creation

As Thomas Edison said, "Vision without execution is delusion." That's why the strategy must bridge to an implementation and operating framework. And that framework starts by defining specific and measurable value for customers and the company.

Investing in CXs as though they are all equal is shortsighted. A better approach is to focus on the CXs that create the most value for customers and the company.

That means defining and prioritizing the interactions that most influence customer affinity and company profits. Johnny Grow research produced a customer experience value matrix that shows how to bridge these two goals.

Customer Experience Value Matrix
Customer Experience Value Matrix | Source: Business Growth Report, N=121

For every proposed interaction we ask two key questions.

  1. Is it an interaction that matters? Is it causing customer and employee frustration? Is it contributing to lost sales, stalled customer growth or customer churn? Or on the flip side, is it a CX that can drive improved customer relationships?
  2. Does the new or upgraded interaction create value? Is it profitable? Not all interactions are. Only profitable CXs are sustainable. Or will it reduce the cost to serve? Will it improve staff productivity? Calculating ROI is the litmus test for prioritizing new or revised interactions.

Companies seeking competitor superiority will want to define superior experiences. Companies seeking transformation or disruption will define unique experiences. When experiences become synergistic with the brand, they create far more powerful and sustainable outcomes.

Once the experiences are prioritized, they need to be designed by persona or customer segment. The design should specify the interaction point, input (data, process and action) and output (desired emotional response and measurable outcome). Good design defines quantifiable outcomes and the metrics to benchmark progress.


Experience Engineering

With the most important CXs defined, we can perform the experience engineering, which is the business process design and orchestration of user, customer and business outcomes.

There is no sense in automating inefficient customer interactions as that will simply accelerate inefficiencies. Lifting and shifting suboptimal processes will deliver suboptimal results. So, before you can digitize you first need to streamline, standardize and simplify.

A business process design method that is especially powerful for CXs is Agile Value Stream mapping.

Agile Value Stream Mapping
Agile Value Stream Mapping Diagram Example

This is a customer and outcomes-focused approach that goes beyond marginal or incremental savings.

This design method calculates business process effectiveness pursuant to customer and company value. Notice in the above diagram that each step in the experience is scored pursuant to the four CX criteria of being reliable, relevant, convenient and responsive. This puts value ahead of efficiency. If your interactions do not create value that customers care about or are willing to pay for, it may not matter how efficient, fast or cheap they are.

Effective processes can then be mapped. That's important because customers don't reward individual interactions as much as they reward completed journeys. Aligning interactions along the customer journey facilitates consistent and predictable outcomes.

Customer Journey
Customer Journey

The above example is a customer journey integrated with Plays from a CX Playbook. The journey map brings end-to-end visualization and identifies important moments of truth.  The Plays provide prescriptive actions to deliver the intended CXs. Together they advise how the customer behaves and the company responds.


Enabling Technology

There is no shortage of CX software solutions but a strategic technology approach makes most of them unnecessary. That's because most companies will be better off with fewer platform technologies than a collection of piecemeal or best of breed products.

And for most companies, their CRM application can provide most of the data management, process automation and information reporting to deliver highly designed CXs at scale. When it comes to CX technology, less is more.

Customer Experience Technologies
Top Ranked Customer Experience Technologies

The above graph shows several common customer experience software applications and their relative position as measured by investment and impact. Understanding this relationship for your company will minimize your investment and maximize ROI.

Your technology should also include analytics with closed-loop reporting to measure progress, highlight variances and connect CXs to revenue results.

Dashboards are a top delivery tool to get the right information to the right person at the right time. A good Customer Experience dashboard delivers at-a-glance previews of the most important customer and business performance metrics. It also answers key questions, helps people make better decisions and induces action to lift performance.

One thing to keep in mind is that with dashboards, fewer high impact metrics outperform a broad collection of less important measures.

Customer Experience Dashboard
Customer Experience Dashboard

See the Customer Experience roadmap and dashboard that brings real-time visibility and predictability to CX results.

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Data becomes the fuel to measure progress, resolve variances and pursue a path to predictable results. We source data from customer touchpoints, transform it into information, route it to the person that can apply it and publish it in Dashboards and progress reports.


Employee Training

All the good ideas, processes and technology must be brought to fruition with trained, confident and engaged staff. A successful customer experience roadmap and implementation culminates with a shared vision to rally behind, a deep understanding of why superior experiences are essential and a training program that empowers staff with confidence and know-how. Depending on the company, a change management program may be helpful to accelerate adoption and create sustainability.

CX training is unique. It's more humanistic which is why it's built into the corporate culture. It's less about technology training or new skills acquisition and more about customer empathy, actions that produce planned outcomes and understanding the link between CXs and company success.

We developed the CX Academy to bring specialization to CX training. We've been at this for more than two decades and have created purpose-built CX training methods, content, tools and best practices.

For example, there is no one best CX training method, so we use a mix of four learning styles:

  1. Visual: Learning by seeing or watching. This is very effective with instructor-led and team-based CX training workshops.
  2. Auditory: Learning by hearing. This is effective with our bite sized videos and CX Plays from a Playbook.
  3. Kinesthetic: Learning through action and by doing. This includes role playing and on the job training. It's especially helpful in preparing for difficult situations.
  4. Coaching: We train managers so they can be good coaches and mentors. This helps onboard new staff, identify employee development opportunities and keep staff engaged for the long haul. It's also proven to increase employee productivity and retention. Coaching makes the training more experiential and creates continuous process improvement.

The bottom line is that quality CX training lowers employee resistance to change, increases engagement, grows productivity and produces the outcomes to make the program successful.

When done well, CX training doesn't even feel like training. It feels more like an employee experience. Which is by design as improving the employee experience is a prerequisite to improving the CX.